Jackson Co. residents complain about water quality

JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - By Patrice Clark – bio | email

JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) – Total Environmental Solutions Incorporated known as TESI is coming under fire for its water service in Jackson County.

Charles Douglas lives in Gulf Park Estates and said the water has an odor and it looks discolored.

"The water here is dirty. We get a lot of sediment in it, and turns the bowls and toilet brown," Douglas said.

Douglas' neighbor Andrea Bosarge said she never drinks the water and hates for family to bathe in the water.

"When you turn the faucet on it looks like bayou water straight into your tub," Bosarge said.

The customers said they've been struggling with the water problem since before Katrina. They've complained constantly to TESI, the water provider, about the problem.

"If they do clean it up it is only for a short period of time, and then it lapses right to where it was in the beginning," Bosarge said.

"We just like them to do their job and provide us quality water," Douglas said.

Supervisor John McKay represents the area. He said TESI has assured the county that the water is safe to drink.

"Even if the water is safe the way TESI says it is, and they have documents to prove that it is, nobody wants to drink a glass of water that came straight out of the bayou."

McKay said he's now working with TESI on the best solution to hopefully provide residents with crystal clear water.

"I think possibly if they can dig deeper wells, which cost a lot of money," McKay said. "They can tie into regional waste water system through the Jackson County Utility Authority, because we are producing good water they can tie into. It will cost TESI and the residents a little bit more money, but they will get with they are paying for."

Several Gulf Park Estates neighbors said they just want something done soon because the water woes are putting a strain on their finances.

"We buy bottled water, which is an extra expensive, in addition to what we are paying," Andrea Bosarge said.

TESI representatives said the water is tested and safe to drink.  They say equipment issues may be one of the causes of the water concerns. Shortly after Katrina, TESI said the Public Service Commission authorized them to charge a flat rate for water. Representatives said now some residents use more water, which puts a strain on the equipment. TESI is now petitioning to return to its metered system to help alleviate a lot of water woes.

Southern District Public Service Commissioner Leonard Bentz and Supervisor John McKay will be at the Fontainebleau Community Center in Jackson County Tuesday night to discuss more water quality issues and regulations. The meeting starts at 6:30 p.m.

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